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Tech Trek is a week-long science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields. In normal years, the camp is held on the Stanford University campus. Due to CoVid restrictions, the 2021 summer camp will be virtual.
Since the first camp at Stanford in 1998, AAUW-OML has sent 100 Lamorinda middle school girls to Tech Trek camp. In 2021, the Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch is providing scholarships for 17 girls.
Virtual Tech Trek Camp in 2021
This week-long camp was centered on a morning project-based robotics, engineering, coding class that met daily and resulted in a personalized creation by week’s end. After lunch, the campers heard from inspirational women for an hour, then participated in one or more 90-minute hands-on or interactive science, technology, engineering, and math workshops to encourage fun while learning. They could return for evening workshops with girls from another country or social activities.
In 2021, three Monday-Friday weeks were scheduled:
Each camp served approximately 300 campers from all over California.
All girls attend Tech Trek camp on scholarships provided by AAUW branches, working with participating middle schools in their area. Seventh grade science and/or math teachers at these schools recommend prospective candidates who then go through an extensive qualification process that includes an application, a written essay and a personal interview. Camp curriculum is targeted specifically at girls entering 8th grade.
The AAUW Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch selects seventh grade girls who attend the three public intermediate schools – Orinda Intermediate School in Orinda, Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School in Moraga, and Stanley Middle School in Lafayette. Girls who are invited to apply for the scholarships must be nominated by their teachers. Parents or girls may not nominate themselves or pay for the camp.
Each teacher is asked to nominate two or three girls from their math, science, electronics, robotics or computer classes, based on the following nomination criteria:
Interest in Math and Science
- Be passionate about math or science and be motivated to learn
- Have active listening skills
- Should have at least a B grade, but does not need to be the top student
- Be likely to benefit from this experience
- May have limited access to programs such as these
- Show an interest in learning new things
- Follow directions
- Participate in class discussions and is eager to learn
- Work well in group situations
- Show patience and persistence in task completion
- Show respect for, and cooperate with, teachers and other students
- Exhibit self-control with exemplary behavior
- Demonstrate responsibility and honesty
- Have confidence and willingness to try a challenging task
Girls who are nominated by their teachers are invited to submit an application and written essay for consideration by a team of AAUW-OML Branch members who conduct personal interviews with all applicants. All nominated girls who apply are eligible regardless of their disability, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
Go to THIS WEBSITE for more information:
What should Tech Trek look like in the future? There is a team of people reviewing a survey of state leaders, camp directors, branch coordinators and treasurers with the goal of reimagining Tech Trek camps. CLICK HERE to view the survey results.
The Tech Trek Mission
Studies have shown that 68% of both boys and girls in fourth grade are naturally interested in science. But by eighth grade, this interest has dropped dramatically, especially for the girls.
That is why we feel it is important to support girls interested in science during the middle school years and to expose them to the careers available to women in science today. Many former Tech Trekkers, now in college or working, have told us that Tech Trek was one of the most influential personal or academic experiences of their middle school years. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields.
Tech Trek Girls Thank AAUW-OML
“To me, Tech Trek is amazing at providing the education necessary to inspire girls who wish to pursue STEM interests and possibly careers. Tech Trek not only teaches science and math in interactive and interesting way, it teaches life lessons and gives once-of-a lifetime experience.”
“Thank you for giving me the chance to deepen my knowledge of STEM. Over the last week I have explored what women can do, reaching out into areas from tech to structures.”
“Overall, this experience is one I will remember and take with me my whole life. I could have never had this much growth and new information without this amazing program!”
“I have learned so much in just a few days… Listening to different women talk about their careers was a totally empowering experience, because it made me believe that I could make my dreams come true, too…
Please Donate to Support Scholarships to Tech Trek
Please Donate to Support Scholarships to Tech Trek Camp.
You can donate by:
- Sending a check with your donation to the Branch treasurer. Donations should be made out to the AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund. Please write “Tech Trek” on the memo line of the check. Send your check to: Marielle Boortz, AAUW OML Treasurer, PO Box 6705 Moraga CA 94556
- Making your donation on-line with your credit card at the following link:
Donations made to Tech Trek as part of the AAUW OML Community Outreach Fund are tax-deductible. The Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, EIN 38-3837745.
Thank you for supporting these outstanding young women and fostering their knowledge and confidence to pursue their interest in STEM!
- Read our answers to Tech Trek Frequently Asked Questions
- Read the Tech Trek brochure.
- Email the AAUW-OML Tech Trek Coordinator, Jan Cushman, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (925) 253-1958 for more information.
- We have made a Resource List of camps and activities. We do not endorse any of these programs, but are providing the list as a resource for all our Tech Trek candidates, past and present.